Monday, March 21, 2016
Note: I am not a shoe expert nor do I play one on TV. The following opinions are mine and mine alone. Please always consult Charm City Run staff when selecting new footwear to ensure proper selection for your needs. As shoes feel different for everyone, this review will be geared towards the technology of the shoe versus the fit.
As a general rule, I have been told 300-500 miles should be the life expectancy of a pair of running shoes. I had just passed 300 miles in my Brooks Ghost, so I stopped by Charm City Run. My buddy Tom hooked me up with a pair of the new Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 Record – a shoe that tracks distance (and more), untethered – and asked me to try them out.
I have had the same Garmin 405 and Edge 500, which I have used for both running and biking for years now. They both get the job done and I have little to no issue with them. (Side Note: The 405 had some issues with charging because the contact points corroded, I cleaned them, and it was good as new). Best of all, they spit out all those lovely stats that I can track on Strava or Garmin Connect. But, since the announcement of the UA Record App and UA Healthbox, I have been very intrigued. More stats, more data, not just from runs but more inclusive to my day to day life. And now, shoes that connect and make it even easier.
The new Speedform Gemini 2 Record are equipped with a chip (in the right sole) which tracks time, cadence, duration, distance and splits from your run. They come with a little guide as to how setup them up by connecting them to app (They also have videos on how to do this as well). All in all, it is EXTREMELY easy and I was connected in only a few minutes. Side Note: The chip even did a firmware update when I connected…it was just weird, updating my shoe!
So from a tech standpoint, I don’t think the shoes or the app could be any easier to use. It just works. The real beauty in this product is a no longer need to carry any other device to get feedback and track my runs. Just lace up the shoes and go, or as UA says, Run Free. Since I travel a lot for work, this is pretty awesome for me. I no longer have to worry about packing my 405 and the charging cable, and any elimination of things to pack (or forget to pack) is okay in my book. The downside to using the shoes instead of say my Garmin is just a lack of map of your run. This can easily be added my using the associated MapMyRun App if you really want it, but for me, less is more. It also means I no longer need to connect the computer via Garmin Connect, to log my run. Only issue I did have was making sure the Auto Start feature was enabled. It seemed to have turned off after I had turned it on, perhaps after an app update.
From a comfort standpoint I think these shoes are pretty solid. The upper of the shoe is extremely comfortable and in some ways feels just like another sock. They don’t provide a ton of cushioning but depending on what you are used to running in, I think they feel good.
Bottom line, this is a solid running shoe that gives you the ability to collect data from your runs without having to use any other device. This can be a huge plus for a lot of runners, but will not fit the bill for everyone. Some people will want more data and use other devices, and others could care less. For me, I fall right in between, I love being able to capture the data, but love the simplicity that it’s built in.
The High Five Guy
About the Author: Ian Johnston
Along with being the “The High Five Guy”, Ian enjoys being outside and pursuing an active and healthy lifestyle. He lives with his wife and golden retriever in Federal Hill.